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Sonus Enables WebRTC & SIP/PSTN/IMS Integration

Sonus Networks yesterday announced a new strategic offering, the Sonus WebRTC Services Solution, to enable the integration of WebRTC sessions into SIP and IMS-based environments and the PSTN.

The solution adds a new product to the Sonus portfolio, the Sonus WebRTC Gateway. The gateway, which is a virtualized product, operates as a WebRTC signaling control point to enable the integration of WebRTC traffic into Sonus session border controllers (SBCs). It interoperates with browser software and the WebRTC Web server to terminate WebRTC sessions.

In addition, the WebRTC product provides signaling gateway functions to SIP/IMS, and enables advanced SIP interworking capabilities. The WebRTC Gateway's SIP interworking services include maintaining WebRTC user registration and routing and performing user authentication as well as policy and session management for Web-to-Web and Web-to-SIP sessions.

Notably, the WebRTC Gateway can function independently or in conjunction with an SBC.

Value Propositions
With the WebRTC Gateway, Sonus follows the trend of delivering technology as software, enabling deployment either on a dedicated server (appliance) or into a virtualized data center. The WebRTC Gateway is available as a single virtual instance or as a multinode cluster application that can support true scaling with high availability to avoid impacts from server failures. It addresses multitenancy with granular service differentiation.

While the WebRTC Gateway can serve as a WebRTC peer-to-WebRTC peer point, its primary value is in managing the WebRTC-to-SIP media paths through Sonus SBCs. The complete Sonus WebRTC Services Solution includes Sonus SBCs, which sit on the edge of a service provider or enterprise network protecting the network from theft of service and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks in addition to providing unmatched levels of scalability, lab-tested interoperability, and comprehensive media handling to bridge WebRTC and SIP interactions. As the media path traverses the SBC, the gateways can sit in a data center and support a range of remote SBCs.

In addition to SIP, Sonus SBCs allow WebRTC to integrate with an existing PSTN infrastructure. These features enable the gateways to operate in active-active redundancy, with high availability.

Development Angle
Another core component of the Sonus solution is the Sonus WebRTC Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK features a comprehensive set of application program interfaces (APIs) and JavaScript libraries that WebRTC app developers can use to terminate WebRTC sessions at the Sonus SBC that integrates those sessions into the existing SIP/IMS environment. The APIs allow for easy operations from the browser or other WebRTC endpoint to the gateway for voice, video, data (including text), desktop sharing, and more. The WebRTC SDK provides plug-ins for those browsers that do not currently support WebRTC (including Apple Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer) and APIs to support WebRTC communications across mobile applications (including iOS and Android).

Uniquely, the WebRTC-enabled JavaScript can launch from a customer Web server or from the WebRTC Gateway. This enables two distinct integrations: a deep integration into a Web platform, with the Sonus WebRTC Gateway managing the signaling for the session; or a simple object handoff in which the gateway manages all aspects of the communications session. Depending on the applications, the environment, and the complexity of the implementation, this enables a range of deployment options.

Good Timing
The Sonus WebRTC Services Solution arrives just as interest in WebRTC is exploding. Recent announcements have shown that enterprises and service providers are adopting WebRTC in large numbers. In addition, many service providers are actively looking at how to use WebRTC to deliver value-added communications services on mobile devices or to allow direct customer contact via WebRTC-enabled websites.

I see Sonus' strategy in two ways. First, its introduction of a WebRTC capability is yet another indicator that the technology's adoption and use is starting to accelerate. Second, Sonus has delivered a clear sign that it believes a large set of its customers will take advantage of its WebRTC-to-SIP interworking capabilities. Based on my conversations with the Sonus team and the number of use cases I've seen, I, too, foresee an uptick in the number of WebRTC applications integrating to SIP.